Eight Minutes To One - Poem by Orlando Belo
In the early hours the radio alarm
went off at eight minutes to one
despite me setting it earlier for six
and checking that it was on.
Now wide awake I rechecked the setting;
and I had definitely made no mistake.
I put it down to an electrical malfunction
and fell asleep until it was time to wake.
I didn’t think any more about the alarm
and continued with my normal day.
The alarm was already set for six o’clock
so I went to bed in the usual way.
At eight minutes to one the alarm went off
exactly the same time as the previous night.
Again I checked on my alarm settings
and again everything was set right.
This time I unplugged the whole radio unit
and recalibrated the time and alarm.
I was now happy that all would be okay
and fell asleep relaxed and calm.
The following night I went to bed as usual
and slept until eight minutes to one.
The cursed radio alarm went off again,
so this radio’s days were done.
The next day I bought an electrical travel clock
and tried out the alarm there and then.
It worked like a charm and I was very pleased,
so that night I went to bed at ten.
At eight minutes to one the alarm went off again
and I could hardly believe this to be true.
I was faced with a problem that had to be sorted,
and a mechanical clock should do.
I bought a large brass, twin belled wind up clock;
set the alarm and several times tried it out.
That night I retired expecting a good night’s sleep,
with no electrics to care about.
At eight minutes to one the alarm went off,
and I threw the clock against the wall.
I was now convinced something supernatural
was causing the earlier morning call.
Over the next few days I tried several clocks
and the alarms went off the same.
In the end I didn’t have a clock in the room,
and I never will again.
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